There’s a reason hardcore golfers are drawn to Vancouver Island – it’s the ONLY region of Canada that offers year-round golfing due to the mild climate. For the most part, the greens remain green throughout the year. So if you can’t make it to South Florida or the Caribbean over the winter months to golf in the warm sunshine, this locale provides a spectacular option.
There is no shortage of golf courses in Vancouver, providing players with designs to suit virtually every skill level and scenic views to suit any number of tastes, from oceanfront to mountainside and everything in between. As a matter of fact, the region hosts 40 courses, with several of those condensed along a 155-mile passage between Campbell River and Victoria, known as the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.
This is a look at 5 of the best Vancouver courses.
Located just 20 minutes from Victoria, BC as a Par: 72/73, Olympic View Golf Club is nature at its best with views of mountains, lakes, and waterfalls as well as indigenous flora and fauna. This is a course that mixes it up, with a variety of signature holes requiring a variety of golf shots. Olympic View houses the award-winning GBC Golf Academy for golf instruction programs and private lessons, and the location scores high with industry folk and many golf reviewers.
On-site facilities include Forester’s Bistro & Bar, which offers breathtaking views from a wrap-around patio. With such outstanding backdrops that provide for inspiring photography, the club is popular for tournaments and is equipped to host weddings and banquets.
Situated 14 miles south of the Campell River, Storey Creek Golf Club is a Par 72 course that boasts a picturesque setting rife with wildlife. Eagles, hawks, beavers and deer are an everyday sighting, while black bear and cougars occasionally make an appearance on the course. Amidst such beauty is a challenging and unique course that pleases golfers as well as reviewers, given the club’s vast number of achievements and awards. This is a public and membership course with rates that vary with the season. It’s also a course that strongly believes in environmental preservation, from working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to operating it’s own vegetable gardens for use in the on-site restaurant, to being Audubon Certified, surely this is a club that respects its surroundings.
Located on a ridge above Departure Bay in Nanaimo BC, Nanaimo Golf Club boasts gorgeous ocean views, towering evergreens, willows and maple trees, and a temperate climate for golfing all year round. The superb course design and conditioning have earned the club the reputation for being amongst the best all-season golf course on Vancouver Island. This is a fantastic 18-hole semi-private championship course, with 6 sets of tees, ranging from 6,700 yards from the championship tees, through to 5,014 yards from the advanced tees. Certainly, this course provides a challenge for golfers of all handicaps. There is a conveniently covered and heated driving range open every day, and the clubhouse features two full dining lounges and a banquet hall, each with their own patio overlooking the 18th green, Departure Bay and the Coastal Mountains.
Arbutus Ridge Golf Club is a Par 70 course located in the seaside community of Cobble Hill. The club is amongst nine of Vancouver Island’s finest wineries and is surrounded by breathtaking views of Vancouver Island. Like Olympic View Golf Club, Arbutus hosts the award-winning GBC Golf Academy for golf instruction programs and private lessons. Holes on the front nine seem to wind alongside the Cobble Hill neighborhood and the back nine ascend a ridge and overlook the Satellite Channel. Never to be forgotten will be three of the most demanding finishing golf holes on Vancouver Island, underlined by the nail-biting 214-yard par 3 island green on the 17th hole. A pro shop and a dining facility called Satellite Bar and Grille on are conveniently on-site, as is the opportunity for indoor tennis.
Located in Nanoose Bay, BC, Fairwinds Golf Club is set in an upscale lifestyle community that includes a marina and fitness club. The club itself is a Par 71 course that offers a challenging game for seasoned professionals as well as inspires and nurtures eager novice players. As such, Fairwinds appeals to a wide range of players. The course was designed by architect Les Furber, and has established itself as a premier golf destination on Vancouver Island. Players can practice their swing at the driving range, which is open 7 days a week. They can better their chipping and putting shots on the practice green, or fine tune their sand skills with a greenside bunker. The Fairwinds Bar & Grill is on-site for refreshments before or after your game. Green fees range from $39 to $79 for 18 holes during peak season, based on time and availability.